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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Death of Boy Who Drowned In Pool Drain Suction Accident

The parents of Zachary Cohn, a six-year-old boy who died last July after his arm got stuck in an underwater suction drain in the deep end of their swimming pool, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the town of Greenwich, Connecticut, Shoreline Pools, as well as several other defendants.

According to the lawsuit, Zachary’s father Brian and another person tried to pull the boy free but the suction of the drain was too strong. The mechanism to shut off the suction could not be located in time. His mother, Karen Cohn, turned off the power to the house and the pool but it was too late.

According to the wrongful death lawsuit, the swimming pool did not meet minimum safety standards and had a number of serious code violations-all of which increased the chances of fatalities occurring in the pool.

Brian and Karen Cohn say that Shoreline Pools has violated building code requirements before. The couple named the city of Greenwich in the lawsuit because they believe that it should have performed a more thorough inspection before issuing a permit for the family’s pool.

Since 1985, there have been at least 48 fatalities involving swimming pool drains. Many others have been seriously injured in the 158 pool drain entrapment incidents that have been reported. There are more 5.4 million hot tubs and over 8 million pools in the United States.

Drowning in swimming pools is a leading cause of death among children. There is no justification for why a child or anyone else should die in a swimming pool accident because the pool drain was defective, dangerous, or malfunctioned or because the pool failed to meet safety standards. Depending on the specifics of the injury case, the injured party may have grounds to file a premises liability case or a products liability one.

Former Connecticut hedge fund exec sues in son’s drowning, Reuters, January 29, 2008
Parents of pool drowning victim file suit, USA Today, January 29, 2007
Kerry Co-Sponsors Plan to Prevent Swimming Pool Drownings, Senator John Kerry, July 19, 2007

Related Web Resources:

A National Study of Drain Entrapment and Pool Safety Measures, USA Safekids.org
Pool Drain Systems, How Stuff Works